As we feasted on delicious hors d'oeuvres yesterday afternoon and tried to keep swim season nightmares out of our head, we were in perfect company to finally face facts. With super-hot South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel on hand, we sat down at the Gansevoort during an exclusive look at the Victoria's Secret swim '12 collection to speak with the pro about her latest swim cover for VS. Of course, we had to pick her brain on how we can maybe, hopefully, somehow work a bikini just like her. The bad news: we probably should have hit the gym hard months ago instead of starting, like, tomorrow. The good news: Candice appreciates a good meal just as much as we do. Read on for what it is she feasts on.
What is your fitness routine? What foods do you love and what do you avoid to stay bikini-ready?
"I eat a lot of protein and I drink a lot of milk — I grew up on a dairy farm. I don't really stay away from anything except for salt, which I try not to eat a lot of because it makes you retain water. But otherwise, I don't restrain myself, it's better to work out a lot and enjoy your food! Food is such a pleasure — it's one of the best pleasures in the world!
I try to work out four times a week. I've had the same trainer for four years, and we do a lot of boxing, resistance training, and after so many years, he just knows how to get my body in shape in just a few days. Of course, it's better to stay more or less in shape all year round, rather than scrambling at the end of winter. For me, my motivation is for a reason most people don't have: being in a thong in front of so many people on set. In this tiny little thing. You're running around, jumping... everything should stay in place!"
You have a lot of expressions in the catalogue images, do you have an alter ego or character for shoots, or is that you?
"It depends on what the clothes are and what the shoot is expecting from me. The Beach Sexy's colorful suits are aimed at a younger audience, and so in those pictures, you'll see a lot of jumping, and we're always laughing. And in the Very Sexy, which is aimed at older women, there's a lot of embellishment and jewelry on the swimsuits, and I use a lot of 'blue steel' for those ones."
What music do you listen to get hyped for a shoot, a favorite song for working out for beach season?
"I listen to a lot of electronic music when I'm working out, and I change the playlist quite a bit, because I'm ADD and I get bored with things. Really high energy stuff — I tried working out to reggae once, but that didn't really help me out."
We heard you had a collection of your swim covers at home — is that true? Do you have a favorite one?
"Oh yes, I do! And there's a couple of ones that I really loved. One great shot was this army print and snakeskin swimsuit, and another we shot in a cave with Russel James in Anguilla. The moment was so amazing, and there was a lot of adrenaline. How we got that shot in that second was just like... 'Wow!'"
You mentioned the army-print suit before, what kind of swimsuits do you go for? Stylish or sexy?
"I think you need to think about what environment you're in. So, if I was in Miami, I would go for more sexy, by-the-pool kinds of push-up suits. If I'm in a more relaxed place, like Brazil, I go for comfort because I'm really active on the beach. Something that stays in place, some of the triangles, and those bright colors. Think about it as your clothing. People spend so much time thinking about their wardrobe and forget about their swimwear."
Photographed by Julia Miller